In my view
A couple of years ago when I travelled on my own to the beautiful city of Edinburgh, I stumbled upon the music of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. To me it has something magical! I visited the museum at the Edinburgh Castle site and was amazed by the authentic pride and culture they have. Currently they are proud members of Scotland’s senior and only Cavalry Regiment and their history goes back a couple of hundred of years.
At the end of my visit to the museum I bought the ‘Spirit of the Glen’ music album on CD to bring something of that magical music in my home as well. Not évery song is on Spotify or the best quality. So having a physical copy of a music album you love is in such cases very nice. As well as LP’s and EP’s if you have a good pickup to play those.
Maybe you have seen last year the Pipe Major Paul Burns – the Sovereign’s Piper of the Royal Regiment of Scotland – performing the ‘Sleep, dearie, sleep’ lament at the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
A more recent occasion is the annual performance of ‘Amazing Grace’ for the New Year. At this event the ‘Lone Piper’ was accompanied by the ‘Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards’ at the Great Hall in Edinburgh.
You can definitely hear that beautiful music coming from the castle and making it’s way through the old town. Hereby the video they created of the event and posted on Instagram.
The story behind the songs
The history of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards spans more than 300 years and so does the regimental music. Music that is influenced by the history of Britain, influenced by the international expeditions and music that celebrated each year.
A couple of my favourite songs of the album ‘Spirit of the Glen’ are:
The original song ‘Sailing’ is composed by Gavin Sutherland from the Sutherland Brothers Band in 1972. In 1975 the song became very famous due to the cover version and video clip of Rod Stewart. The version of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is without vocals, the bagpipe plays the melody and that is very soothing.
The original song ‘Highland Cathedral’ is composed by Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb in 1982. It was composed for the occasion of the 1982 Highland Games that were held that year in Germany. The music was instrumental and had originally no lyrics. A couple of years after the release of the song songwriter Ben Kelly wrote a set of lyrics on it. Together with the songs ‘Scotland the Brave’ and ‘Flower of Scotland’ is it one of the most famous unofficial national anthem candidate songs of Scotland.
Last Of The Mohicans
This song is the title song of the eponymous film ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ (1992). Composed by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman. It is connected to the Scots because the main theme of the film and therefor for the song is the tune ‘The Gael’ composed by the Scot Dougie MacLean in 1990. If you know the tune ‘The Gael’, you recognize it in the film. There are various the music instrument compositions for this song. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards uses the bagpipe for the main melody. The original soundtrack in the film and the performances of Dougie MacLean are using the violin as main instrument for the melody. And at the ‘Breizh Pan Celtic’ festival an edition with another set of traditional and cultural instruments was presented.
Another song composed by Dougie MacLean is the famous ‘Caledonia’ released in 1977. The story goes Dougie MacLean wrote it in his twenties on a beach at the French coast in just ten minutes. This song is a real love song to Scotland. The song is forty five years old and covered many times. This time the Dougie is on the album singing the lyrics so you can follow along.
Do you recognize the melody by this piece of the lyrics?
Oh, but let me tell you that I love youDouglas Menzies MacLean – 1977
That I think about you all the time
Caledonia you’re calling me
And now I’m going home
Most of the songs on the album ‘Spirit of the Glen’ is instrumental. The album consists of many famous songs with all their own story and the bagpipe makes it for some songs more unique since it is beyond the Celtic region not so often used. The bagpipe is not part standard of a philharmonic or symphonic orchestra or a classic brass band for example in The Netherlands.
An example of a music video of one of the songs of the album (if available)
The official Spotify playlist
Title: Spirit of the Glen
Artist: The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
Genre: Classical / Film music / Military / Traditional
Style: Marches / Pipe Bands
Label: Fontana International
Released: 26th November 2007
List of the songs
- Amazing Grace
- Abide With Me
- Band of Brothers
- Pachebel’s Canon
- Time To Say Goodbye
- Auld Lang Syne
- Queen of My Heart
- Highland Cathedral
- Last of the Mohicans
- Scottish Medley
- Jurassic Park Theme
- Celtic Medley
- Journey To The Line
- My Heart Will Go On
Enjoy listening and singing along the songs on this album!
Thank you for reading!
Loves from Sophie